How do you pronounce face?

How do you pronounce face?


  • Total voters
    14

ernest_

Senior Member
Catalan, Spain
Hi there,

I wonder how widespread the /eɪ/ diphthong is. According to what I've read, it should only be present in the South East of England and the Southern Hemisphere (not sure about that one), but I'm quite sure a lot of American speakers have got it too. So, basically this poll is addressed to native speakers. I'd be nice if you said where you were born or grew up, by the way.

Thank you!
 
  • irishpolyglot

    Senior Member
    Hiberno English (Ireland)
    Hello!
    /feis/ is the standard pronunciation for many words ending in -ase and especially -ace (ace, base, case, lace etc.) in both British and American English. /fes/ could be possible although I've never heard it, /fais/ does sound like it could come from some dialects in England, although I wouldn't know myself. I can introduce a new possibility though - I use the standard pronunciation (I'm from the Irish countryside), but a friend in the north of Dublin city would more likely say /fois/.
    Hope that helped. Good luck with the servey!!
     

    LV4-26

    Senior Member
    As I'm not a native, I didn't vote to avoid messing up the result.

    I pronounce it /feis/ because that's the way I hear it pronounced most often. To be more precise, it's actually somewhere in between /feis/ and /fais/, but closer to /feis/.
    I'd say this slight deformation probably comes from an "Estuarian" influence of some sort. But I'm not sure : it might be "Southernish" as well.
     

    cyberpedant

    Senior Member
    English USA, Northeast, NYC
    I've never heard it pronounced any other way but [feis]. I would be surprised to hear it pronounced differently and probably wouldn't understand it at first.
    (Native AE, NYC)
     

    JamesM

    Senior Member
    [feis] for me. I'm curious, though. What is the sound of [e:] ? I'm not really familiar with IPA and the site I went to did not include this symbol as a vowel sound in English.
     

    ernest_

    Senior Member
    Catalan, Spain
    Thanks for your answers.

    James: the [e:] sound is the same sound as [eɪ] but without the [ɪ] bit. The two dots mean it's long.

    If I haven't got the wrong end of the stick, there was a time when all FACE words were pronounced with a long [e:]. At some point this sound turned into [eɪ], but this change didn't happen everywhere. For instance, according to this, didn't occur in Ireland, so the Irish should still be saying [fe:s]. At least in theory, in practice Irishpolyglot says that he/she has never heard this pronunciation. To be honest, I've never heard anyone saying [fe:s] either, but I have heard some people saying [bre:k] (break), in the North of England. I thought it would be more common, but it looks like it's not.
     

    se16teddy

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Within England, I would say that /fe:s/ or sometimes /fes/ is typical of northern England; /faɪs/ is typical of south-east England (but spreading through the influence of Estuary English); and /fois/ is typical of south-western and some parts of eastern England; and /feis/ is RP. Being a northerner, I say /fe:s/ or, when I'm trying to sound posh, /feɪs/.
     
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